A delicious traditional Christmas recipe that looks impressive and is not that difficult to make. The hardest part is rolling it up while the sponge is still hot. Time to taste test before Christmas!

Christmas Chocolate Log Cake
Christmas Chocolate Log Cake

For the cake;

4 medium eggs
100g caster sugar
Few drops of vanilla extract
60g self-raising flour
40g good quality cocoa powder
For the cream middle;

200ml double cream
50ml ready-made vanilla custard
Glug of brandy (optional)
For the chocolate ganache;
270g good quality dark chocolate
50g butter
250ml double cream
Glug of brandy (optional)

Pre heat the oven to 190C/gas mark 5. Line a 33×23 swill roll tin with baking parchment. Cut an extra length of baking parchment of the same size and sprinkle with some caster sugar (this is used when the cake comes out of the oven). Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl until pale and forms soft peaks. Add the vanilla extract, sift the flour and cocoa powder over the mixture. Gently fold it all together – being careful not to knock the air out. Tip into the prepared tin and gently smooth it out until even. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, it should be springy to the touch when cooked. When it’s still hot, quickly turn it out onto the sugared baking parchment and peel off the parchment from the bottom. Along one of the long edges, score a line with a knife about a centimetre in. From that mark roll it up – with the paper too. Leave to cool. While it’s cooling, whip the cream until stiff and spreadable then stir in the custard and the brandy if using. Gently un-roll the cooled cake and discard the paper. Spread the cream mixture in the middle of the cake – leaving about a centimetre around the edges, for the cream to spread when you roll it. Tightly roll it back up. You can leave it whole or cut a third off and arrange it against the other piece to form a log shape. For the ganache, break the chocolate into a heat proof bowl. Over a low heat, gently heat the cream and butter in a pan until just below boiling. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted, stir in the brandy if using. Put it in the fridge to cool until it is thick enough to spread on the cake but not set. Spread or pipe the ganache all over the cake. Make the marks like a log with a fork and leave to set before enjoying!